I love intelligent debate. I think it’s a critical part of developing not only developing ones understanding, but critical for advancing our society as a whole. Political Correctness, “Being Nice” and avoiding discussion of key issues I think doesn’t lead to anything constructive as intelligent disagreement gets us all sharpening our ideas.
I also want to dedicate this article to my old awesome friend Rowan Dickens from Melbourne. When I was in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) working away in my first full time marketing role over 10 years ago – he was one of the awesome accountants. We both went through a bit of abuse in our role there and we became close friends who worked hard to cope in a challenging environment. Even though I was quite neutral then, as time passed I became more Liberal and he is a hard Labor member. Despite our political differences, he is an amazing man, truly loves Australia and like me – believes in free speech. I am that way too, even if I disagree with someone – they have a right to speak and I fought with my life multiple times to defend that right. We have been intelligent debating our views for years which I think done properly is a constructive and helpful exercise for the both of us.
Talking in particular Small Business Marketing & Success – it is a critical thing to do continually. Be it you are in business by yourself, with a team and you are busy working away – when you are say going to test a New Business Card, Logo, Marketing Campaign or say Facebook Post – the last thing you want is everyone being “Nice” to you and saying that it looks great. If people don’t intelligently debate you, give you the feedback and counsel you need – it’s very easy to launch something that doesn’t work and waste time and money you can put in elsewhere.
I had a very funny event on Facebook whereby there was someone making some very pointed political comments and attacking one of Australia’s Top Journalists. I was sitting on the other side of politics and I did have quite a bit of respect for this person. I was always commenting on their posts, liking what they put up and just being generally supportive of what they had to say.
I made a few intelligent disagreements with what they were saying and guess what! After supporting them all that time and them not liking what I said – they Unfriended me! Yes, I have supported them for ages and using the oldest trick in the book – this guy didn’t agree with me, so he censored me by unfriending me.
To me, the act of censoring creates quite a few issues. Firstly, it is not good for him. He is blocking off useful feedback from the world that can either:
– Prove his argument by giving him the opportunity to argue it more.
– Allow him to continue incorrect thinking leading him to a dark place.
In addition as well, it also has lowered my respect for the person acting in this nature – and if anyone did ask me for a character reference on this person, if I didn’t tell them the truth about what they did – it wouldn’t be ethical and fair by the person asking me for the reference.
I am quite a strong “Right Wing” character but I am 100% open to free speech and discussion. In fact, I defend people’s rights to speak against my own views – because that is what makes Western Society Rock! This person who “Unfriended” me on Facebook obviously doesn’t believe in free speech the way that we do – and it’s not only to his detriment – but I think silencing people will only get people to think less of his credibility or arguments that he places forward.
Censorship is bad! Mmmm-Kay! What I found interesting was that after I got censored on Facebook, I then put up a humours status update about what happened to me. Wow! Within 5 hours over 20 likes, a trail of comments and some people are quite emotive about this topic and the dangers of censorship in society (which judging by his behaviour – this man is obviously all for that).
General political discussion, feedback on one’s business ideas / initiatives and constructive debate is just awesome and critical. In fact, when I am making big decisions in business, the first thing I like to do is discuss it with my close / trusted friends to see what the issues are and whether any improvements are required!
My advice? Don’t be like this narrow-minded controller and be open to having people disagree with you and respect all the opinions that are put forward. Even if you “Disagree” or “Don’t Like” something – as long as it’s constructive and not just a personal attack – I really like to absorb the counter-viewpoint. Why? I may be wrong! And if I am wrong and someone presents me with new evidence that is reasonable, I am flexible with my thinking. Also, I may be right but the debate gets me considering my thinking at a deeper level to only make me sharper and more effective.
Thank you for the read, have a great day / night out there everyone and here is too free speech! It will take a lot more than this guys censorship to shut us down!
Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Patriot who loves people intelligently disagreeing with him!